RCB vs KKR, IPL 2024: All eyes on in-form Russell as Kolkata Knight Riders take on Royal Challengers Bengaluru

At the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) practice session at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday, Andre Russell tore into the bowlers. With murderous expansive swings of the willow, he repeatedly smacked balls onto the stadium roof.

Come match day on Friday, Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) will have to find a way to stop the Jamaican from recreating this magic. Russell, who stunned Sunrisers Hyderabad with a 25-ball 64 in the previous outing, will be doubly encouraged by his impressive record at this venue.

Apart from Russell, the KKR batting relies on Shreyas Iyer, Phil Salt, Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana. Salt found runs on Saturday, but the others fell flat.

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RCB enters the field on a high, having shut Punjab Kings (PBKS) down by four wickets a few days ago. Virat Kohli, who turned up early to have a hit at the nets on Thursday, stood tall with a match-winning knock against PBKS.

Kohli and opening partner Faf du Plessis will need to tackle an experienced new ball bowler in Mitchell Starc. The Australian, signed for ₹24.75 crore at the auction, had an off day against SRH, going wicketless and conceding 53 runs in his four overs.

The pressure is on Glenn Maxwell to find form, having been dismissed for 3 and 0 in the last two games. Maxwell will likely be challenged by KKR finger spinner Sunil Narine, who at 35, is still tough to read.

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